Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation Field Trip Grants
Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation Field Trip Grants help bring students to outdoor sites where they can experience hands-on learning about Hawai‘i’s environment. The Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation offers financial assistance to Hawai‘i public schools which otherwise could not afford to participate in environmental field trips. Most field trip locations provide hands-on learning experiences for students grades K-12 and offer educational tours that can be customized to any grade level.
Applications for the 2013-14 school year will be accepted May 1, 2013 through March 1, 2014 for funding up to $200 per teacher or $1,000 per school.
Click here to download the application.
Note: Not all applications will be funded, nor can we guarantee that funded projects will receive the full amount requested.
Field Trip Opportunities by Island:
Your group can view the cliffs of the Lāwa‘i Valley still cascade deep-purple bougainvillea and enjoy a natural showcase for tropical plants and the ancient Jurassic trees. p: (808) 742-2623 w: http://ntbg.org/gardens/allerton.php.
Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge
Kīlauea Point NWR environmental education programs engage learners of all ages and focus on seabirds, native coastal plants, marine mammals, and stewardship. School groups can schedule refuge interpretive tours and environmental education programs throughout the year. School bus transportation funds are available through Kīlauea Point Natural History Association. Visit www.kilaueapoint.org for more information.
Koke‘e Natural History Museum
Nurturing the bond between people and place is the deepest intent of Hui o Laka’s park stewardship program, Kōkua Koke‘e!. For all who have experienced the calm and exhilaration of these mountain parks, it is clear how important these mountains are in our lives. Go to www.kokee.org.
Limahuli Garden And Preserve
At the Limahuli Garden you can learn about the native plants of Hawai‘i, the plants brought to the islands by voyaging Polynesians, and the flowers and fruits introduced during Hawai‘i’s plantation era. Visit their website for more details or call (808) 742-2623,
Explore the unique biodiversity of native and exotic plants, recognized for their value and their beauty. See rare and endangered Hawaiian species and learn about the efforts to save them. Visit the living laboratory and take a trip back to ancient Hawai‘i in the Canoe Garden. For more information visit their website.
Nā ‘Āina Kai Botanical Gardens
Nā ‘Āina Kai, “Lands by the Sea,” is ever-evolving and unique among the world’s botanical gardens. You will find the particular rare palette of flora, fauna, land, water, and more. All tours are guided and suitable for children 12 and older. Children younger than 12 will enjoy the “Under the Rainbow” Children’s Garden Family Tours. Visit www.naainakai.org to learn more.
The Bishop Museum has a number of resources available for teachers, students, and parents that are available at the museum and also as outreach programs at schools and other venues. Educator tools are also available to supply teachers with resources to enhance a school visit to the museum with lesson plans that connect with current exhibits and guided education programs. For more information please visit their site:http://www.bishopmuseum.org
Camp Erdman, located in Waialua on the North Shore of O’ahu offers environmental education programs that provide students with opportunities to experience nature through a variety of hands-on activities. The programs are typically overnight and run three days and two nights. Please call 808-637-4615 for more information or visit the “School Program” page of their website: http://www.camperdman.net
James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge
The James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1976 to provide habitat for Hawai‘i’s four endangered waterbirds: ae‘o (Hawaiian stilt), ‘alae ke‘oke‘o (Hawaiian coot), ‘alae ‘ula (Hawaiian moorhen), and koloa maoli (Hawaiian duck). Student groups may visit this treasured site to witness this protected haven for endangered Hawaiian waterbirds, migratory shorebirds, and waterfowl, as well as native plants that rely on these coastal wetlands and surrounding lands. About 2 miles along the coast will conserve resting habitat for the endangered Hawaiian monk seal (‘ilio holo i ka uaua) and nesting habitat for threatened green turtles (honu) and important seabirds. Other important native wildlife that will benefit include the pueo (Hawaiian owl) and a species of rare damselfly. For more information and to book your school group visit www.fws.gov/jamescampbell.
Kaʻala Farms (The Cultural Learning Center at Ka’ala)
Ka’ala Farms, located in the beautiful uplands of Wai’anae Valley, offers elementary and intermediate school students experience cultural immersion that engages all their senses. Students learn by doing- by touching, tasting, pulling, pounding in the taro patches. Kumu, the teachers, teach the students how to make poi, basics of kapa such as dyes, utensils and stamping. The curriculum covers nutrition, biology, archeology, resource conservation and economics from a Hawaiian perspective. Field trips cost $250 for a group of no more than 60 people and are only scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Sign-ups begin the first workday of September. For further information please call 808-696-4954.
Through their Māhuahua ʻAi o Hoi program, Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi offers educators and students a broad range of ʻāina-based learning opportunities. Situated in the wetland alluvial plains of the Heʻeia watershed, the site provides interactive, outdoor learning opportunities focused on watershed and ahupuaʻa management, wetland ecosystems, sustainable agriculture, and Hawaiian-culture based concepts, all of which can be integrated into subject areas such as math, science, english and language arts. Students of all ages, backgrounds and abilities welcome! Visit www.kakoooiwi.org.
Kualoa offers a wide range of outdoor tours and activities for Hawai‛i school groups to learn about our natural environment and celebrate our rich island heritage. Programs include:
- Animal Friends and Nature Walk (Pre-K to Grade 1)
- Loko I’a Ancient Hawaiian Fishpond (Grade 2 and up)
- Ahupua’a Environmental Exploration (Grade 3 and up)
- Malama Aina-Caring for the Environment (Grade 4 and up)
Click here for booking information.
Hawai’i Nature Center
The Hawai’i Nature Center, located in Makiki Valley provides hands on field programs for preschool to 5th grade. The purpose of the Hawai’i Nature Center is to foster awareness, appreciation, and understanding of Hawai’i and encourages wise stewardship of the islands in the future. Each program strives to include as much of the Hawaii Department of Education Content and Performance Standards as possible. For a fun and engaging field trip, please contact (808) 955-0100 or visit www.hawaiinaturecenter.org.
Hawaiian Earth Products
At the Hawaiian Earth Products site at Campbell Industrial Park, students learn about composting. Schools will learn how green waste is broken down, cleaned, grinded and made into compost and soil available for the public to purchase. Call (808) 682-5895 or visit www.menehunemagichawaii.com.
Hoa ‘Aina O Makaha/Ke Ala-The Learning Center
Located adjacent to Makaha Elementary School, Ke Ala-The Learning Center is an outreach program of Hoa ‘Aina O Makaha and Na Keiki O Ka ‘Aina. The Learning Center is a classroom without walls that provides over 4000 Oahu students a year with hands-on learning activities that teach respect for the land and awareness of the delicate relationship between humans and the environment. The Learning Center offers two curricula to visiting schools: The General Farm Tour focuses on plant and animal life cycles and the Hawaiian Tour, for upper grades, explores the voyages of Polynesians, their traditions, the kinds of plants they brought with them and how they were used. For further information please call 808-695-8978 or visit http://www.hoa-aina.org/
Hui Kū Maoli Ola
Hands-on tours are available for student groups to visit sites including the Waimānalo botanical gardens, Waimānalo nature hikes and the Kāne‘ohe nursery plant gardens. Students will learn from informational signs describing each plant’s morphology, its natural distribution, potential landscape uses, care instructions, and any known cultural uses. Call (808) 235-6165 or visit www.hawaiiannativeplants.com.
Take a tractor-pulled wagon ride through one of O‘ahu’s most beautiful farms on the North Shore and learn about the history, people, and crops of this special place. The tour includes a sampling of farm fruits on the patio of their cafe. Call (808) 628-0639 or visit www.kahukufarms.com.
The Lyon Arboretum and Botanical Garden is the only University botanical garden located in a tropical rainforest in the United States. It is an easily accessible tropical rainforest on the island of O’ahu. It currently consists of almost 200 acres at the top of the Manoa watershed with a set of small cottages and greenhouses used for research and community education about plants and the natural environments of Hawai’i. As a branch of the University of Hawai’i, it serves as a center for educational activities on plants, arts, culture, geography, and a range of other sciences.
Pohakea Elementary Teacher: “Yes, we would recommend the Lyon Arboretum as a field trip destination for elementary students. Students participated in a plant defense lab in which they tested leaf toughness with a tough-o-meter. They went on a hike through the rain forest where they learned about plant and animal interdpendency. Overall, the Lyon Aboretum was a great hands-on learning experience for our students.”
Students can learn about the history and culture of ‘Nalo’s farm land in Waimānalo located at the foot of the beautiful Ko‘olau mountain range. Groups can see first-hand the many varieties of lettuce and
greens which go into producing their Signature ‘Nalo Greens and the wide assortment of quality herbs that island chefs rely on. Go behind the scene and follow these locally grown garden delicacies from seed to your plate. www.nalofarmfresh.com
Olomana Gardens is a permaculture dedicated to inventing and designing modern, sustainable food growing systems from backyard to large scale farms. Located on the windward side of Oahu, they feature integrated natural systems of animals, composting and vermicomposting, including aquaponics combining fish raising and production of organic vegetables. www.olomanagardens.com
Paepae O He’eia (O’ahu)
E Komo Mai! Come visit He’eia Fishpond and experience what takes place in a Hawaiian traditional loko i’a. A field trip visit to He’eia Fishpond can be enjoyed by grade levels 4th-12th. Guests have an opportunity to tour and witness the 88-acre pond, to participate in service-learning projects aimed at sharing ways our Hawaiian ancestors cared for this special place, learn of the storied landscape surrounding the fishpond in mo’olelo (stories) about the He’eia ahupua’a and Ko’olaupoko, O’ahu, and participate in species identification.
Field trips cost $150 for no more than 40 participants, and are offered Mondays, Wednesdays, and the 1st Saturday of each month. Guests will leave with a valued eco-cultural learning experience and a student workbook. Witness and become a part of this ancient tradition that has been established for more than 600 years. It is an eco-cultural learning experience that you will not forget. For further information please call 808-236-6178.
Papahana Kuaola offers the following hands-on programs for K-12 students to participate in:
- ʻĀina o Waipao: holoholo tour of loʻi kalo (taro patches), native gardens, stream & forest
- Sense of Place: ahupuaʻa, land divisions, moʻolelo, wahi pana (sacred places)
- “Let’s get muddy!” loʻi kalo experience: Hawaiian connection to kalo, ancestor Hāloa
- Hawaiian ethnobotany/ethnobiology: Implements & tools – show, touch and tell
- Native plants and animals: how did they arrive, native vs. non-native / invasives
- Water resources & exploration: stream, springs, & ponds
- Residents of Waipao: the crawlers, swimmers, wrigglers & winged-ones
Call 808-447-7694 for more information.
Located on the beautiful North Shore of O‘ahu, Waimea Valley offers fun, hands-on educational encounters for school groups interested in learning about Hawaiian culture and environmental stewardship. With the Valley as a living classroom, students of all grade levels are invited to engage in a range of programs including E Mālama I Ka ‘Āina (Take care of the land that sustains us), E Mālama I Ka Wai (Take care of the life-giving fresh water), Ahupua‘a (From the mountain to the sea), Nā Pā‘ani Kahiko (Ancient Hawaiian games) and Nā Lāhui ‘Ane Nalowale Loa O Waimea (Endangered species of Waimea). Each program takes children into nature and provides them with a creative, standards-based lesson. Please visit www.waimeavalley.net for more information about their programs or call their Field Educators at (808) 638-5859. All programs are available Monday through Friday and cost $5.00 per student (up to 55 students).
Students will enjoy seeing the world’s largest collection of breadfruit trees and learn more about ethnobotanical plants that were brought to Hawai‘i on ancient voyaging canoes. All students groups from grades K-12 are welcomed to Kahanu Garden. Visit their website for more information.
Hawai‘i Nature Center - ʻIao Valley
Students can enjoy hands-on activities and encounters with nature, while educators learn to integrate outdoor learning in their classroom instruction. A visit to ‘Iao Valley is ideal for Pre-K to 8th grade keiki to play, learn, and be outdoors. Visit www.hawaiinaturecenter.org to learn more about school visits.
Mahele Farm allows visitors to work for a few hours and take home a box of fresh, organic veggies and fruits. Kids, parents, and grandparents weed, plant, and harvest side by side in the dirt, rain or shine. This is a great place for students to enjoy a hands-on experience on an organic farm. Mahele Farm welcomes all age groups.
Maui Ocean Center
Maui Ocean Center offers a perfect opportunity to learn about Hawai‘i’s unique marine life and fascinating culture. The staff works with teachers prior to a visit to create a customized field trip for students. Field trips are available any day of the week for all grade levels. To learn more go to www.mauioceancenter.com.
Waihe‘e Coastal Dunes & Wetlands Refuge
The Waihe‘e Refuge offers a great opportunity for the children of Maui to connect with the historical and cultural roots of the island. The Waihe‘e Refuge is a cultural educational site which provides school groups opportunities to learn about their coastal environment and a chance to participate in a beach cleanup. Groups from grades K-12 are encouraged to visit. Go to www.hilt.org/protected-lands/maui/waihee-refuge for more information.
Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden
The Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden in Captain Cook offers many ways for schools and students to use the Garden to explore topics in Hawaiian studies, Hawaiian natural history, conservation, and horticulture. Teachers or students can arrange a class visit to the Garden. Most class tours take about an hour and a half. Many school groups stay to take part in service learning opportunities, where students help Garden staff work with the native plants in the landscape. There are picnic tables and shady trees for schools who want to stay for lunch. For more information please visit their site:http://www.bishopmuseum.org
Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park
At Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park students can participate in Ranger-led tours that focus on geology, forest ecology, and Hawaiian culture. Programs meet State of Hawai‘i curriculum requirements and provide students with experiential learning through guided hikes and environmental programs. Click here to plan your field trip.
Mokupapapa: Discovery Center for Hawaii’s Reefs
Visit Mokupapa to learn about the natural science, culture, and history of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and surrounding marine environment. Interactive displays, engaging three-dimensional models, and immersive theater allow the visitor to experience the wonder and majesty of this special ocean region. To schedule a school tour please contact the Discovery Center Educational Director at (808) 694-3922. Visit www.hawaiireef.noaa.gov/center/welcome.html for more information.
Pacific Tsunami Museum
A day at the Museum includes presentations covering the science of tsunamis, historical information about Hilo,
personal accounts of survivors and more. School visits to the museum are tailored to meet educational outcomes and are available to grades 4 through 12.
Go to www.tsunami.org for booking information.
Ulu Mau Puanui
Ulu Mau Puanui is located in leeward Kohala on Hawai‘i Island. Students grades 3 - 12 can learn about the Kohala dry land agricultural field system which was cultivated by Hawaiians for centuries prior to European contact. Go to www.ulumaupuanui.org for information on booking a student visit.
TREE Center Hawai’i (Hawai’i Island)
Tropical Reforestation & Ecosystems Education Center is based on the island of Hawai’i. They are dedicated to the conservation and education of native Hawaiian ecosystems by engaging children and adults in hands-on activities and habitat restoration. Visit www.treehawaii.org or contact them at (808) 333-0330.
If you have suggestions for other field trip sites, especially on neighbor islands, please send them our way!